Sept 27 2018 Greater Brunswick Minutes

 9.27.18 minutes, Greater Brunswick Area Chapter, Maine AllCare
5:30 – 6:45 PM, Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick, Maine

UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE: if you treasure it, GET ACTIVE!

Many chapter members who are willing to work / volunteer cannot attend meetings (or don’t like meetings- we understand!).  Consult “GET ACTIVE” at the top of meeting minutes.

GET ACTIVE for UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

  • Table on ELECTION DAY or at community event
  • Attend next LD1274 Study Grp meeting (Oct 15,9am); Augusta
  • Volunteer for Nov 9 Celebration
  • Agree to host House Party-Marla
  • Suggest a venue for a presentation/event
  • Suggest a person to serve on MAC Board

Present 9/27: Bill Clark, Jean Sawyer, Poppy Arford, Gail Eaton, Debbie Brisbois, Becky Brochu, Julie Pease, Wells Lyons, Marla Davis, Dave McLurg, Sara Grey, Abbie Ryder, Wendy Flaschner, Cindy Wood

  • Introductions, agenda review (no changes suggested)
  • Review minutes, 7/26 – no changes suggested

Board:

  • ED, Field Organizers working hard/well. Met with Janet Mills at her request. Looking for grants. Reviewed LD1274 TF progress. Always seeking new Bd members- pls stay alert.
  • Plans for next 6-12 m: 1. Continue building base and get supporters active. 2. Get in depth Economic study- join MCEP with an academic group-?U Mass, G Friedman. 3. Use Focus Grps to help develop a winning message. 4. Develop strong communication presence- Social M, short videos, for specific target groups. Ads. Partnerships w biz, etc.

Chapter work accomplished—brief reports:

  • On 8/28 Susan Kamin met with Bowdoin students in the Public Hlth Club (of the Center for the Common Good) to begin a planning process for joint event(s) with MAC in this academic year.
  • PEACE Fair-8/6 we had a solid presence.
  • We have tabled at a few Brunswick Farmer’s Mkts.
  • Bill suggested names to Jane Scease for a “Senior College Forum” session at UMA Nov 4.

Chapter work pending— YOU can help!!

  • Poppy announced that Janet Mills would hold a press conference re healthcare at Poppy’s home Friday am, & several folks said they’d go—but the event was cancelled. No further info. 
  • CELEBRATION NOV 9. BIG DEAL!! For fund raising, we will focus on a celebration of MAC (in lieu of house parties.) Sara Grey and husband Dave McLurg (ROCKLAND) recruited Gordon Bok, Will Brown and Dave Dodson to play, and we will show videos, have finger food and raffles, at the UUCB, 6-9 pm Nov 9, Friday. Committees were formed for food, to recruit sponsors/ donors, publicity and so on. PLEASE CONTACT ABBIE to volunteer. This is a BIG EVENT, and we need folks to help out. Ticket $20, kids under 12 free. Raffle tix price TBD.
  • ELECTION DAY. NOV 6,  MAC will be tabling in many places. Abbie in charge. Please let her know that you can help sometime that day…..
  • We are doing Clynk bags- save your bottles and cans and bring the bag to Hannaford Clynk drop-off- the $ goes to MAC. Several folks took bags, and we will have them at each meeting, or email Bill or Abbie- we’ll see that you get a bag!
  • Bath Citizen Involvement day 10/6, 930-1230. Sign up w Abbie
  • Damariscotta Pumpkinfest 10/6, 9am-12, 12-3pm // 10/7, 10am-2. Sign up w Abbie
  • Farmer’s Markets: Opportunities continue until Nov. Tues or Fri Brunswick, and Sat Bath. Please step up. Contact Abbie.
  • We did not discuss rotary presentations at this meeting- Contact Marla or Poppy if you are willing to try to arrange a brief presentation/ event. Most Rotaries have weekly meetings, so they need speakers!! (Bath  Noon Rotary (Tues) declined,) Bath Sunrise Rotary in process, Brunswick Rotary (Mon), Rotary Club of Topsham (Mon 7am)

 Progress on goals (accomplished/goal ) “Star” for goals met!

  • Presentations (10/10): SEE TABLE/BOX BELOW FOR SCHEDULE.
    • Endorsers: (30 biz, 15 orgs)
  • Sign up individuals: (~1000/1000).!!
    • House Parties: (4/10) Debbie (summer)/ /Bill (TBD) will host soon.
    • Fund Raising planning for Nov 9.

ANNOUNCEMENTS /NEWS/ OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST

Neoliberals/ dems co-opting “Medicare for All.” If you see announcements, be sure they actually mean our MAC program of publicly funded universal coverage, not some watered down, vague “program” with no real details specified.

8.21.18: Share of people under age 65 who were uninsured or had problems affording care in 2017

  • All people   26.2%
    • 15.5%   Insured but struggled with affordability
    • 10.7%   Uninsured
  • People in fair or poor health   46.4%
    • 32.9%   Insured but struggled with affordability
    • 13.5%   Uninsured

8/6/15: More bankruptcies in the elderly. Respondents were asked to list the single most important thing that they or family members were unable to afford in the year before their bankruptcies. Over half of older filers (52 percent) who responded indicated that the single most important thing they had to go forego was related to medical care—surgeries, doctor visits, prescriptions, dental care, and health/supplemental insurance.”

Conclusion: “Absent significant policy changes that reassume the risks of aging and effectively insure the financial stability of older Americans, … the trend of an aging bankruptcy population will continue… Now that we can see the magnitude of the coming storm of broke elderly, it is time to renew our commitment to supporting our citizens as they age.”

 9.24.18: unexpected medical bills are the number one health cost problem people worry about, ahead of all the cost issues that get more attention, including deductibles, drug costs, and premiums. They’re even a bigger concern than other family expenses, such as paying the rent, mortgage, or utilities.  — Surprise medical bills affect many – recent Kaiser poll, four in ten adults (39 percent) say they had a surprise bill in the past year.  “insurers design features (like narrow networks that result in surprise bills) to enhance investor returns

NEXT MEETING: Oct 25 Thursday 5:30, Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle Street, Brunswick.